Why Is My Reverse Osmosis Water Cloudy?

Have you ever noticed your reverse osmosis water is cloudy? If so, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

This is a common issue with RO units and can be caused by several factors, including improper installation or maintenance.

Still, fortunately, there are also several ways to fix the problem.

This blog post will explore the possible causes of cloudy reverse osmosis of water and how to clear it up. Stay tuned!

How does reverse osmosis work?

In simplest terms, reverse osmosis is a water filtration system that uses a semi-permeable membrane to remove contaminants from drinking water.

RO unit uses a pressure pump to force water through the membrane, which acts as a barrier and only allows pure H2O molecules to pass through.

The contaminants are left behind in hard water and flushed into the drain line, and filtered water is piped into the storage tank.

RO water softeners have several stages of water treatment, including a sediment filter and activated carbon filter to reduce water chlorine smell and dissolved solids, improve taste and remove other common contaminants.

Why my reverse osmosis water is cloudy, and what can I do about it?

The most common causes of cloudy RO water are:

Inadequately filtered water from the municipal water supply

Unlike a water filtration system, RO systems do not remove 100% of the impurities from water.

It’s important to ensure all cloudy tap water has been filtered before starting the RO process.

Don’t worry, this is not as difficult as it sounds – many modern city water supplies use a combination of filters and disinfectants to remove harmful microbes.

Suppose your municipality is somewhat antiquated, or you find that cloudy water persists despite flushing.

In that case, you can install a sediment water filter on your kitchen faucet.

Faulty membranes

If the RO membrane is damaged or not working properly, it may allow contaminants to flow through the system.

This is especially true after installing new filters because they can erode the membrane’s pores if they are too strong.

This is a relatively easy problem to fix – you just have to replace the membrane.

Algae or other bacteria growth in the storage tank

If your system includes a storage tank, algae and other bacteria can grow inside if they aren’t eliminated by the sediment RO filter.

The easiest way to prevent this is by installing ultraviolet light in the storage tank.

Air bubbles in reverse osmosis system

The best Reverse osmosis systems need between one and three liters of clean water to flush out the system after each use.

If your tanks are less than half full, the water may not be enough to push all of the trapped air bubbles out of the process.

This can lead to cloudy Reverse Osmosis water quality.

Fortunately, this is another easy problem to fix – just fill your tanks halfway and wait about half an hour before using the system again.

Improperly installed membrane and filter system

This mistake is one of the most common causes of cloudy RO water, and it’s all too easy to make if you’re not careful during installation.

For example, it’s essential to have the correct type of faucet installed with an air gap between the RO system and the spout; otherwise, contaminants will be forced back into the water.

The filter housings must also be connected properly, or they’ll leak unfiltered hard water into the storage tank.

Other reasons for cloudy water.

Although less common, cloudy RO water can also result from low water pressure or high temperatures.

If you think this is the case, it’s best to contact a professional fitter for assistance.

You can do a few things to reduce or prevent cloudiness altogether

The RO water issues are due to improperly filtered tap water or membrane damage; ensuring all aspects are in working order should solve the problem.

  • If you have a storage tank, make sure to install ultraviolet light to kill any bacteria that may cause cloudiness.
  • Another option is to install a simple soft water filter on your faucet. This protects the system from contaminants and reduces any sediments that may be in the water supply from the source.
  • In addition, make sure you fully flush your RO system after installing new filters or changing its operating temperature.
  • If you’re not sure how to do this, follow the system’s manual for specific instructions.
  • Remember that you should never clean the RO membrane with acidic or harsh chemicals because they can damage the RO filter beyond repair.
  • With just a little bit of maintenance and patience, your RO system should produce clean water in no time.

How can you tell if your reverse osmosis system needs maintenance or a replacement filter?

If your water softener is producing cloudy water, you should check all components.

The membrane and water filter cartridge might need cleaning or replacement, respectively.

However, you’ll also need to look at your setup and ensure that no water leaks into the storage tank.

Is there anything else I should know about reverse osmosis drinking water?

When you run RO water flow through a filter, it removes dissolved minerals and other compounds that could potentially benefit your health.

Add an additional water treatment stage to your RO system, like a mineral filter, to get these minerals back.

This can produce pure water quality that is tasty but more nutritious.


Is reverse osmosis water good for you?

RO water softener is actually a better option than cloudy tap water.

It’s free of any contaminants or dissolved solids. It doesn’t have the added fluoride and chlorine that municipal soft water supplies do.

However, it’s also devoid of added minerals and can lead to health issues like dehydration if not replenished.

If you want to add minerals back to your RO water for health benefits. In that case, you can use a dissolved mineral filter.

How long can I store cloudy RO water?

Generally, it’s best to use cloudy water for non-consumable purposes, like watering plants or cleaning.

It’s not safe to drink right away, but after letting it sit for a day or two, it should clear up.

Is cloudy Reverse Osmosis water a sign that I need to replace my membrane?

The membrane may have reached the end of its lifespan. Still, it’s also possible that you dislodged some sediment during installation.

If the membrane isn’t under warranty anymore, it’s probably best to replace it.

However, if you have a warranty or plan to keep the system for a while, try cleaning it.

If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace the membrane.

Is the cloudy reverse osmosis drinking water safe?

There’s always the risk of bacteria in cloudy RO water, so it’s advised to run the system again until it becomes clear.

If you can’t wait or your tank is full of cloudy water, it’s best to avoid drinking it.

Whenever possible, run the tank empty or clean reverse osmosis systems before using the pure water again.

However, cloudy water may also result from slow RO water pressure or high temperatures.

If this is the case, you can correct the problem by contacting a professional fitter for assistance.


If you have doubt, why is My Reverse Osmosis Water Cloudy?

The issue can be caused by several factors, including improper installation or maintenance, but there are ways to fix it.

If your Reverse Osmosis is producing black water, you should check all components.

If you can’t wait and do not find the solution, it’s best to avoid drinking it and contact a professional.

I hope this article was interesting and useful to you!

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